Cockatiels

Cockatiel, parrots, parakeet

Cockatiels are some of the best companions anyone can have! 

They are very smart and can learn many tricks as well as even whistle and “talk”. It is no wonder they are some of the most popular parrots kept in captivity as pets. By adopting a pet cockatiel you will soon realize that all of the hard work it takes to keep your pet happy is well worth it!

Cocktails are flock birds from the Australia, which means they are used to warm temperatures since they mostly live in brush and scrublands. They live in flocks and prefer being with their families. This is why they require lots of attention as pets; their new family becomes their flock.

Cockatiels come from the Cockatoo family this explains their friendly nature. Unlike the Cockatoos they are much smaller at only 12 to 13 inches in length. They can live from 12 to 17 years in captivity with the proper care.

They come in many colors and mutations. Some mutations are normal in nature, while others are bred in captivity. Some of the variations you might have noticed are single colored such as the all white albino.

Cockatiels are very expressive showing their mood and emotions through their crest. Their crest stands tall when they are frightened or alert. It goes flat and touches it head when they are angry and only slightly elevated when they are relaxed. They tell a lot with their crest which helps the owner to determine how they are feeling.

They eat mostly a seed based diet which can be purchased at any pet store or online. The best will have a mixture of dried fruit and other healthy treats. Their seed diet has to be complimented with other foods however to maintain there health. Eating only seeds would be like us eating only fast foods. They need to eat fruits and vegetables however avocados, fruit seeds and chocolate are highly toxic to them and should never be fed to a cockatiel or any bird. Stick to simple fruits and veggies to keep your cockatiel at its maximum health. We recommend you check with your avian vet before adding any foods to your cockatiel’s diet.

Positive:

  • Great companions: very loyal pets
  • Tame: they can be trained and rarely bite
  • Cheerful: always happy to spend time with their owner
  • Variety of colors: many mutations to chose from
  • Can talk and whistle: one of the most common reasons for adopting a parrot
  • Smart: can learn a variety of tricks
  • Funny: always getting in to trouble with their mischievous attitudes
  • Playful: the love making you laugh by putting on their own little show
  • Long lifespan: will spend a large part of your life with you

Negative:

  • Loud: might be seen as an annoyance by some bird owners
  • Can bite: if not tame enough or if they have history of being abused
  • Love to chew: they will chew anything and everything, from furniture to scraps on the ground
  • Need for attention: cockatiels can become lonely and depressed
  • Messy: empty seed husks and bird droppings need to be cleaned often
  • Time commitment: they require at least 2 to 4 hours of your time per day
  • Might not be great with children: young children might unintentionally startle the cockatiel make him or her feel threatened
  • Constant supervision: must be watched when let out of the cage
  • Aviary vet visits: usually more expensive and harder to find than regular vets

Should you get a cockatiel? 

Absolutely!

But only if you have done your research and know what you are getting yourself into. They are great pets which make great companions and friends. However, they require lots of attention and affection. They are adorable and lovable creatures who love to perch on your shoulder and beg for head scratches. This sounds great right!

Yes but it also requires that you dedicate a sizable part of your day to their care. Specially if you are only adopting one cockatiel. They will see you as their new family or family member and expect you to be there for them. If not they can go sad and do harmful things to themselves such as plucking most of their feathers or not eating.

They require flying time everyday so that they can stretch their wings in a safe environment. They also need baths to keep up with their hygiene, as well as wing clipping if they are not going to be flying. Even though it is highly recommended that they fly everyday, if it is not possible many owners opt for clipping their feathers to prevent them from hurting themselves. They also require regular vet visits to ensure they are healthy and they can clip their feathers and nails for you.

They are also not the quietest animals in the world. On the contrary they are quite vocal since in nature they must be able to call out to their flock from great distances. Therefore if you are ok with early morning screeching and whistling and you don’t mind parrot noise at random times during the day you should be fine. Some people are annoyed although those of us who love cockatiels actually learn to like their noises.

So now you are thinking that is a lot of work!

Yes it is but it is worth it. Let me tell you why…

Cockatiels are less expensive then many larger pets such as dogs and cats, and they are just as friendly and lovable if not more. They love to spend as much time with you as possible and if this is what you need then you will surely love your new cockatiel. If you have time and money to dedicate to your new bird you two will share many memories. Your cockatiel will spend lots of time with you and keep you happy. They can learn to whistle tunes that they learn from you as well as saying simple words and phrases. This is not as difficult to teach as you might think it is, all it takes is repetition and a constant rewards for your bird.

How many people can say their cat or dog talks? None however your cockatiel can talk and whistle which is way better than just fetch. And cockatiels can learn many tricks as well such as flying on command, jumping onto your finger, dancing, hopping and much more. You can even invent new tricks depending on actions that your cockatiel already does naturally.

Cockatiels live for up to 17 years which make them great pets for the long run. You will spend a big part of your life with your new pet and make many memories together. They are also medium sized parrots which allows you to keep them in smaller homes as long as they have space to fly. Their cage also doesn’t have to be gigantic as long as your cockatiel is allowed outside. Although it is better if they do have a large cage in case they have to be inside for long periods of time.

There are many positive parts of being a cockatiel owner which makes them amazing pets. However they are not for everyone and the destine shouldn’t be taken lightly.

People start to wonder if they make a mistake once they realize that it isn’t as easy as feeding and housing your bird. It actually requires interaction and stimulation since they are way smarter than anyone thinks. This is when owners consider giving their cockatiels up! The sad part is that just like with most pets it is hard to find a new home for them. Everyone buys their pets from breeders and all others are left in shelters if they are lucky. Some end up being released into the wild. This is terrible because the cockatiels we keep today were bred in captivity. They now longer have their instincts and they never developed the experience that it takes to be on their own. We have them accustomed to serving their meals and keeping them housed and comfortable. On their own they must watch out for predators and have keen abilities that they learn in the wilderness with their flock. Which they wont have since they are in captivity. Their flock is used for protection since their is power in numbers! Being a single cockatiel is difficult and very dangerous.

Owning a cockatiel comes with many responsibilities but also many amazing rewards. It is important to look at the positive and negative parts before you make your decision.

If you decide on adopting a cockatiel I can assure you, you will have a very close and unique relationship with your new bird!